Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday invited Latin American and Carribean countries to invest in the Indian pharma sector, which he said could grow to become a USD 65 billion industry by 2024.
Addressing a video conference 'FICCI LEADS 2020', the minister highlighted that India is one of the largest manufacturers and exporter of generic medicines across the world.
India is the only country with the largest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) compliant pharma plants (more than 262 including APIs) outside of USA and exports USD 20 billion worth of pharma products to various countries, including high standards complying countries like the US and Europe, he added.
"We are confident that the Indian pharma sector can grow to USD 65 billion industry by 2024," Gowda said.
The government has recently launched schemes for development of seven mega parks three bulk drug parks and four medical devices parks across India, he informed.
New manufacturers will be eligible for Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme under which they will be eligible for financial incentives on basis of their sales for first 5-6 years.
"This is a very very good time to invest and set up manufacturing base in India in pharma sector. One can enter India market through joint ventures also. The advantage is that you can get access to big markets like domestic Indian market, US, Japan, EU and South East Asia through India as far as pharma sector is concerned," Gowda said.
Talking about the fertiliser sector, the minister said it is also an attractive sector in India.
Gowda said India is a net importer of fertilisers. In 2018-19, India imported 7.5 million tonnes of urea, 6.6 million tonnes of DAP, 3 million tonnes of MOP and 0.5 miliion tonnes of NPK fertiliser.
"I am told that Latin American and Caribbean countries are also net importers of chemical fertilisers. Instead of competing in market as buyers, we should be cooperating for making supply chains more efficient so that adequate quantity can be sourced at competitive prices," he said.
The minister also called for collaboration for development of alternative fertilisers, for example nano-fertilisers, which can reduce our requirement/ usage of fertilisers, and hence dependence on imports.
Referring to chemicals and petrochemicals sector in India, Gowda said the current market size is around USD 165 billion and this is expected to grow up to USD 300 billion by 2025.
"This presents a huge opportunity in chemical sector India. For example, to meet the growing demand India will need 5 crackers by 2025 and additional 14 by 2040. These crackers alone will require cumulative investment of USD 65 billion," he said.
To attract foreign participation, Gowda said the government is revisiting policies for the chemical and petrochemical sector.
"We are thinking to extend financial incentive based on sales similar to what is being extended in our pharmaceutical sector," the minister said.
"We are also tweaking our policies to strengthen our chemical industrial cluster which we call as PCPIRs (Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Regions) and plastic parks," he said.
Gowda said there is a need to convert common interest between Indian and Latin American/Carribean countries into successful model of cooperation.
"We have cooperated on lots of global issues with countries like Brazil, Jamaica and Argentina on various multilateral or global platforms such as the UN or G-20. There is a need to extend this cooperation at regional and bilateral level," he said.
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